Gander's Cryptantha [Cryptantha ganderi Jtn.]

Gander's Cryptantha [Cryptantha ganderi Jtn.]

Listing CNPS List 1B R-E-D Code 3-3-2

State/Federal. Status -- /C2 BORAGINACEAE

Global Rank G2 State Rank S1.1

Distribution: San Diego County; Sonora, Mexico

Habitat: Desert sand dunes are utilized by this small annual with a golden yellow hue. Rositas fine sand is mapped for the soil type at the Borrego Airport, while Carrizo very gravelly loams occur towards Clark's Dry Lake. More soil stabilizing grasses and shrubs were seen on the dunes at the Gander's Cryptantha sites than at the one nearby dune locale where Cryptantha costata was seen. A recent report from Mexico indicates this species may range more widely than the very narrow range previously known.

Known Sites: Gander's Cryptantha is a very distinct species. One plant was found growing in dunes east of the Borrego Airport and several in similar habitat near Clark Dry Lake just north of the Salton Seaway. C. ganderi is apparently extremely rare with very few known sightings. A revisit the following year to the Borrego Airport site revealed several dozen plants following a period of good rainfall. Old County herbarium collections are for Coyote Creek 1 mile north of Henderson Canyon Road, and east of the Anza Desert Country Club. An old biological survey report notes this species east of Catarina Drive and west of Santa Rosa Drive in Borrego. A Data Base record notes a site 0.25 mile southeast of Borrego School in Borrego Valley. This species was recently collected in 1988 by Felger (SD 127221) in the Pinacate region of Sonora four kilometers south of Mexico Highway 2 on the Pozo Nuevo Road at 32 1' North.

Status: This annual is presumed stable but may grow at only a very few locales in the United States. Disturbance at these few sites could severely impact the total population. Expansion of the airport at Borrego is one such potential significant impact. All populations should be fully protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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